Generation #1 (1-10)

Bulbasaur (#1)

Bulbasaur
Fruit can be given periodically as a treat. Image credit: Takamizawa Usui.

Bulbasaur are typically sensible beings and are known for their caretaking abilities. Mine finds great pleasure in maintaining his (very orderly) garden and looking after my baby niece, Clara. Many a time, I’ve seen him gently rock her cradle and sing the Bulba-by and it brings joy to my heart each time. I think it might be part of their communal nature. If you ever go to Kanto and are lucky enough to happen upon an evolution ceremony, you will know what I mean.

Where to find one

The only chance you’ll get to catch a Bulbasaur in the wild is at their gatherings, which occur once a year. However, I really wouldn’t advise this. A Bulbasaur-Ivysaur-Venosaur community is very wary and secretive. In fact, they can be so elusive that it is extremely difficult for trainers to find the meeting place. Not only are they held in the depths of very hard-to-reach forests, but their groups contain a good mixture of low- and high-level individuals. Those energetic Ivysaur might just decide you could be their next best plaything. And then there’s the all-mighty protectors of the forest, Venusaur, who will no doubt try and chase you off if you cause a stir.

If you do find a gathering, be courteous. I’ve always found if you respect nature, it won’t bother you. That seems to be the case here. I’ve been lucky enough to catch the ceremony once or twice and it is such a spectacle. If you are an experienced trainer and intend on catching a Bulbasaur at one of these events, it is best to wait until after proceedings have died down. Slowly approach a group near the edge of the clearing and clearly state your intentions. If one is willing to take you on, let the battle commence! If not, either ask another group or try again next year. Some things are worth waiting for.

For all but the most experienced trainers, the best way to get a Bulbasaur companion is to talk to a breeder. When you first meet the brood, make sure to look for one of the individuals that is playing with its litter-mates, sunbathing, or energetically undertaking a private hobby. A young Bulbasaur should never be isolated or standing in a corner. If you see this behaviour, please tell the breeder. It may mean they have to alter their training.

Preparing the home

A Bulbasaur’s social life is a complex one. At heart, one caught from the wild is extremely social and caring but they can also be quite aloof and stand-offish. That’s because they live alone or in small family groups for most of the year, in the wild. The gatherings I spoke about are very special occasions.

Don’t be fooled, though. Just because your Bulbasaur is aloof doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. Bulbasaur communities know each individual extremely well. They learn to recognise each other by their unique facial and body markings, as well as their scent, powders, and impressions they make in the grass. So, don’t get too unnerved if your new Bulbasaur stares at you a lot or inspects where you’ve just been sitting on the sofa. He’s just trying to work you out.

Gardening
Encourage your Bulbasaur to take up a hobby, like gardening. Image credit: Marta Maszkiewicz.

Speaking of their powders, or spores, be prepared for the house to be covered with them! A Bulbasaur uses its powders as a way of scent marking – the way a cat might mark a couch by scratching or a dog by peeing on a hydrant. That means that in the early days, you won’t be able to go a day without finding it everywhere like white feathery snow. Don’t worry, it’s not poisonous at this stage. However, be sure to train your friend to stop marking the house if you’re planning on teaching him moves like Poison Powder or Sleep Powder.

When introducing a new Bulbasaur to your home, you want to make sure he has his own private space where he cannot be disturbed. This will preferably be in a sunny spot in the garden or by a south-facing window. Buy him a few potted plants and encourage him to care for them, and make sure he has access to rainwater at least once a week. If you live in an arid area, you might want to buy a water butt and save some up for him. Tap water isn’t the worst thing in the world, but they can get a little sickly if they get no rainwater at all.

Raising for battle

Bulbasaur is a grass-poison Pokémon and its fighting moves largely revolve around its vines and powders.

If you want to focus on powder-based moves such as Poison Powder, Sleep Powder, Worry Seed and Seed Bomb, you’ll want to encourage him to scent-mark. To save your house, try picking out a designated training area and place something with his scent on at each corner. You can buy specially generic pre-scented flags from your local Pokémart if that’s easier. Next, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the types of powder. You can actually use his diet to influence the types produced. Feed him Deadly Nightshade, Castor Bean, or Water Hemlock (these are deadly to humans, so treat with utmost care) to encourage his poison spores, or Lavender and Jasmine to strengthen his sleep spores.

The physical moves like Take Down, Vine Whip, Razor Leaf, and Double Edge will be easier to train. Bulbasaur are quite intelligent and eager-to-please so this should be fairly easy to do with a couple sandbag training dolls, targets and treats.

Keeping Bulbasaur happy and healthy

Whether you’re training for battle or just raising as a pet, it is very important for Bulbasaur to sunbathe. I can’t stress this enough. Being a plant-based creature, one of Bulbasaur’s energy sources is the sun (photosynthesis). Make sure your Bulbasaur gets at least half an hour a day of peak-time sunlight in summer and triple that in winter. If you live in a cloudy, rainy place like I do you could buy an incandescent light but this is in no way a full substitute. Bulbasaur that cannot get enough sunlight must be given nutritional supplements. You can get advice from your local Pokémart’s nutritionist.

As well as light, your Bulbasaur must also eat. He lives on a herbivorous diet of grass, legumes, and leafy greens. Fruit can be given periodically as a treat. Other plant-based things can be ok, too. For example, my Bulbasaur got a peculiar obsession with peanuts for a while. Just make sure that any extra food like this is given in moderation and watch their weight. No one wants a chubby bubby!

As I’ve mentioned, Bulbasaur are usually intelligent and benefit from hobbies. This varies from individual to individual, but activities I’ve seen include gardening, painting, baking, target practice (for particularly avid battlers), and even training other Pokémon! Their vines are quite dexterous and they can be very inventive. If your Bulbasaur is struggling to find something naturally, feel free to suggest some activities he may not have thought about. However, always let him choose and don’t try and force him into it.

Overall

Bulbasaur is said to be great for new trainers due to their devoted, caring nature and their will to please. I generally agree with this sentiment. However, as you have seen, there is a lot more to this bubbly soul and they have some pretty particular needs. Saying that, you’ll find no other Pokémon more willing to work together to overcome any hurdle.


Sleeping Bulbasaur
Sleeping Bulbasaur. Image credit: Olivia Bigelow.
  • Watch out for the first Bulbasaur story on 29th April!
  • For a Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur Sonnet, click here (partner website).

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